About Badminton

Posted in: About
Mar 26, 2007 - 11:54:10 PM

About Badminton

Made-for-television radar guns instantly flash the speed of serves, volleys and pitches to the sporting public around the world these days, but few viewers could name the world's fastest racket sport. The title belongs to badminton.

The flight of the shuttlecock, a missile of cork and goose feather that players volley across the net, has been recorded at speeds of 260 kilometres per hour. Speed, agility and lightning-fast reflexes are essential to the game. Add stamina, too - players have been known to cover more than six kilometres in a single match.

While contemporary badminton first appeared in the mid-19th century, it evolved from the game battledore and shuttlecock, which can be traced back to ancient Greece, China, Japan and India.

Especially popular in Asia and Europe today, badminton became a full competition sport at the Olympic Games in 1992.

Source: International Olympic Committee

Badminton History

Before Badminton House, there was poona. Before poona, there was "jeu de volant". Before that, battledore and shuttlecock, and, before that, Ti Jian Zi. It's not easy tracking the ancestry of the sport now known as badminton.

As far back as the 5th century BC, the Chinese were playing Ti Jian Zi, or shuttle-kicking, a game played with the feet. The shuttlecock was there, but it remains unclear whether it led to the game of battledore and shuttlecock that arose about five centuries later in China, Japan, India and Greece. The battledores were the early versions of today's racquets. By the 1600s, battledore and shuttlecock had developed into a popular children's game. It soon became a favourite pastime of nobles and the leisured classes of many European countries, becoming known as "jeu de volant" on the continent.

In India, a game closer to modern badminton, poona, had evolved by the mid-19th century. While British army officers stationed there were learning the game, the Duke of Beaufort was introducing it to royal society at his country estate, Badminton House in Gloucestershire, England. Within four years, the Bath Badminton Club had formed, and a new version of the game played there laid the basis for today's rules.

Source: International Olympic Committee

Olympic History

Badminton was contested as a demonstration sport during the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. It debuted as a full medal sport in 1992 at Barcelona. Men and women compete at the Olympics in both singles and doubles, and the events have been dominated by Indonesia, China, and Korea.

Olympic badminton consists of five events - men's singles and doubles, women's singles and doubles, and mixed doubles. Each involves a single-elimination tournament, with the top eight players or pairs seeded.

Source: International Olympic Committee